What causes a plant to wilt or die back to nothing?

ladyrose65November 3, 2012

I am not having any luck with penstomens, Lobelia cardinalis, delphinum's, milkweed and some species of Asters. They get to a certain height and then I don't see them anymore. I don't see a critter damage. They just disappear, with the exception of milkweed which I can't even get to germinate.

What causes such drastic dieback? I have really good soil.

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adidas(6/7)

I am new to ws'ing but have grown things from seed and when seedlings die back to nothing, in my experience, it has been from keeping pots too wet and/or fungal attacks due to lack of ventilation. There are prob. a lot of other reasons but I tend to kill things by tending them too well :)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 8:57PM
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ladyrose65

Thanks aidas, but I'm talking after they have been planted.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:18PM
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adidas(6/7)

oops, I'm sorry I got the scenario COMPLETELY wrong...hope someone else can come up w/an answer. Though when things disappear w/out a trace, overnight it's often rabbits or deer and there wouldn't be signs of critters because the plant is gone entirely :(

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:23AM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Several things come to mind. Consider
- if they really completely disappear, I'd strongly suspect critters of some sort. Voles dig them up or eat the roots. Rabbits eat them. And I've seen birds pluck seedlings from the ground and fly off with them, nesting material I guess.
- consider sun exposure. They can fry in too much, or just whither away if surrounding plants grow tall enough to block enough light.
-water, either too little or too much.

Karen

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:18AM
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ladyrose65

Thank You Adidas and Karen,
I am suspecting Large surrounding plants and sun exposure. I did put a Tithonia plant right smack in the middle of everything. I'm going to have to be really careful where I place the plants next spring.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 3:42PM
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